A Guide to Understanding Hot Tub Pricing
The Big Question: How do I Find Hot Tub Prices?
Everybody knows roughly how much cars cost, or TVs, or standard home improvements. However, hot tubs are not a consumer item that most people think about until they are ready to buy. I want to help by giving you some information on what you can expect to pay for a hot tub, based on factors like quality and size.
The best place to get more specific hot tub pricing is at your local Authorized hot tub dealer. These businesses can offer the best prices on hot tubs and spas in your area and have the local knowledge of water chemistry, codes, and climate that will help you get set up correctly.
What Do You Think a Hot Tub Costs?
Research in the USA and Canada hot tub markets shows that until people start to do more specific purchase research they are likely to assume that hot tubs cost about $5,000 USD. Well, this is not far off, but must be qualified. Some hot tubs actually do cost around $5,000. But, most cost a little more than this and a few cost less. I’ll try to break this down and offer some clarity.
The Low Down on Hot Tub Pricing
It would be easy to say that you get what you pay for in hot tubs and walk away. While this is obviously true, there are unfortunately a few companies out there that prey on a consumers lack of understanding of what makes a true quality hot tub.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of dedicated spa retailers out there are honest and hard working and carry good products, they wouldn’t last otherwise. There are only a few of these companies to watch out for and you can usually pick them out by their tactics. Things like high pressure in-home presentations, travelling “spa shows” that really only feature one brand sold by one company, etc. What’s important here is understanding how to evaluate quality spas and quality retailers, then looking at pricing in terms of the value you are getting for your dollar.
There are additional factors like upgrade features and options to consider, which will affect pricing. However, for the sake of simplicity we’ll talk in base pricing for well-equipped mid-size and larger spas without additional accessories like steps and cover lifts, etc.
Why You’re Here – Prices on Hot Tubs
TOP TIER – $9,000 TO $18,000
Most high-end hot tubs built by the top manufacturers will cost around $9,000 – $18,000 in the United States and Canada. Consider things like how the hot tub is made, what materials it uses, what jet technology is used, what equipment like pumps and heaters are used, and the overall reputation of the company. Using these factors you can determine which hot tubs are the high quality spas and which will give you the best value in this price range.
Pay attention to the sophistication of manufacturing facilities and technologies, reputation of the manufacturer, and materials used in the spa structure.
MID TIER – $5,000 TO $8,000
The same quality hot tub manufacturers mentioned above usually offer a mid-price, high-quality spa line that will cost $5,000 – $8,000. These spas usually have fewer features and less complete hydrotherapy, but still offer good reliability and comfort.
You will also find many other companies selling lesser quality spas in this price range. Many big box retailers will pass off these lesser quality spas as “premium” in this price range and even some companies that have been around for a while would qualify as low to mid-quality and yet still usually sell in this range.
Pay attention to these things to determine quality in this range: established brand, established dealer or sales channel, consumer feedback, domestic manufacturing (made in USA).
LOW-END TIER – $3,000 TO $4,000
Cheap hot tubs will cost you around $3,000 – $4,000. There are a few quality manufacturers making a quality entry-level spa in this range. Look for these first.
If this is the price range where you’re looking, it is wise to beware. Many spas in this price range are inflatable, roto-molded like your kayak or folding pic-nic table, or are built with poor materials with knock-off designs overseas. These can be ok if you’re looking for a very short-term or no-frills experience. One more consideration also creeps in at this price level – cost to operate. Most of these low cost hot tubs are not well insulated and your energy bills will let you know it. This leads us to the last thing you’ll want to factor into your decision – cost over time.
Pay attention to these things to determine quality in this range: established brand, materials, domestic manufacturing (made in USA).
One More Thing to Consider, Hot Tub Costs Over Time
When you’re making your decision on which hot tub to buy you should, of course, start with initial quality. You also need to consider how much your hot tub will cost to operate over time. This decision has 2 basic components.
- The expected life of your hot tub or durability
- The cost of operation associated with your hot tub
These factors, combined with your initial purchase price will give you the lifetime cost of ownership for your spa. Look for 2 things to minimize your lifetime cost of ownership – quality construction and energy efficiency.
Quality Pays You Back Over Time
A well-built hot tub will last you much longer than a poor quality spa, often a decade or more. This means your initial purchase price will be spread over more years of use.
Example: a quality spa that costs you $10,000 initially and lasts 10 years costs you the same per year as a poor quality spa that costs you $3,000 and only lasts for 3 years.
Using the example above, in reality, the quality spa actually costs less overall over time because it lasts longer. In addition to longevity, a quality spa will also generally use less energy and require less maintenance.
High quality spas are usually fully foam filled except for the area where pumps and heaters are located. This helps to insulated the spa from the cold and keep warmth within the water. Full foamed spas will generally require much less energy to keep them at temperature and ready to use.
One way to find energy efficient hot tubs is to look at the data compiled by the California Energy Commission, which keeps hot tub energy use statistics. Pay attention to the spa brands that consistently show at the top of these lists.
You Will Love Your New Quality Hot Tub for Years to Come
Hot tubs are extremely nice to own so you will want to own yours for as long as possible. You will have always-ready hydrotherapy, relaxation, and fun right in your own backyard. No other product offers as many health and lifestyle benefits. So, consider the quality and value first when making your decision on which hot tub is best for you. You will be rewarded with better features, better hydrotherapy, and a lower cost of ownership over time.